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The New Orleans Index

Our “New Orleans Index,” a now biennial publication developed in collaboration with the Brookings Institution, tracks progress towards prosperity relying on over 30 indicators that measure economic growth, sustainability, inclusive growth, and quality of life.

The Rise of the Social Entrepreneur Post-Katrina

Aug 13, 2015

Prior to Hurricane Katrina, the economic, political, and social context of metro New Orleans was not conducive to social entrepreneurship. This report identifies factors and agents that enabled a shift in the metro's entrepreneurial landscape.

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Opportunity Clusters: Identifying Pathways to Good Jobs in Metro New Orleans

Aug 13, 2015

Metro New Orleans has experienced economic growth since the Great Recession, yet families in the region are still struggling to make ends meet. New Orleans needs more "good jobs". This report aims to inform policymakers on which parts of the local economy provide good jobs so that they can help shape an economy that works for people.

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Expanding Opportunity for Minority-Owned Businesses in Metro New Orleans

Jul 23, 2015

For metro New Orleans, where 47 percent (and rising) of residents are minorities, minority-owned business enterprises (MBEs) will play a significant role in driving job and wealth generation for the foreseeable future. Post-Katrina, New Orleans has enjoyed a boom in entrepreneurship, with startup rates eclipsing the national rate by 64 percent. However, the jury is out on whether the minority population of metro New Orleans has benefited equally from the recent startup renaissance. In this paper, we provide empirical data on how MBEs perceive the post-Katrina entrepreneurial ecosystem, including impressions on inclusiveness, supports, and access. We close with recommendations on policies and procedures that improve the ecosystem's ability to support MBE development.

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Expanding Choice and Opportunity in the Housing Choice Voucher Program

Jul 08, 2015

The significance of the housing voucher program in the New Orleans metro area post-Katrina cannot be overstated; the number of housing vouchers in use in Orleans Parish alone more than tripled from 2000 to 2010. Housing vouchers were a primary means of assisting households displaced by Katrina, especially following demolitions of public housing units that housed over 5,000 low-income households before the storm. In this paper, we present data regarding the use of housing vouchers by low-income renters in the pre- and post-disaster New Orleans housing markets; evaluate the subsidies’ effectiveness in increasing access to wider housing opportunity after the storm; and recommend mechanisms to increase the effectiveness of the subsidies in reducing income and racial segregation in the region.

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Latinos in Metro New Orleans: Progress, Problems, and Potential

Jul 01, 2015

Hurricane Katrina and the flooding caused by the levee failure on August 29, 2005 precipitated the arrival of new Latino immigrants in New Orleans. These immigrants sought opportunities in New Orleans and provided labor needed to clean and rebuild the damaged city. However, the immigrants received a mixed reception; while their labor was urgently needed and welcomed, displaced residents, especially those in the low-skill labor force, feared that the newcomers would fill jobs and occupy low-cost housing New Orleanians needed to return home.

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